Generally speaking, horticulture operations can be quite expensive to operate; yet, growers can rely on hundreds of years of knowledge to improve the efficiency, so that those costs go down. At the same time, the cannabis industry cannot rely on such knowledge, and it is not uncommon to see cultivation facilities with huge bills at the end of the month. As the industry matures, growers are finding new ways to drive the efficiency up and the cost down, and one of these solutions is vertical farming.
Nowadays, LED technology has made a huge leap forward, and Heidi claims they are the industry standard. “Growers generally make the switch from HPS to LED for three reasons: increased yield, improved cannabinoid, and terpene content, and energy efficiency,” she explains. Thus, LEDs allow for vertical cultivation, which has a host of benefits, especially when it comes to space optimization.
“The VetriAero Planter system uses a mobile planting rack that reduces the ‘required’ indoor grow space area and extends the plant cultivation space by multiple tiers, maximizing growth space, increasing the yield and thus the profit,” Heidi points out. “And if a grower wants to use one rack only initially, other tiers can be added later on: the shelves can be connected to one another so that growers can modify the VetriAero Planter system length according to the size of the room.”
A very peculiar feature of this system is the integration of both aeroponic and hydroponic methods. “Instead of growing in soil, the roots are suspended in mid-air and surrounded by oxygen,” she adds. “The plant roots get misted directly with a nutrient-dense solution that gets sprayed to the roots every 3-5 minutes. At the same time, the remaining liquid at the bottom of our container ensures that, in the event of an emergency, there is still enough nutrient-dense liquid to sustain your plants for up to 48 hours.”
“Commercial indoor cannabis growing operations can be very expensive,” says Heidi Yang with GrowSpec. “And if you look at the cost of the real estate, added on top of substantial power bills and staffing requirements, it becomes critical to find a way to increase profit and reduce overhead costs.” Exactly to respond to such a demand, GrowSpec has developed the VertiAero Planter system, a new vertical growing system. “One of the primary reasons why vertical farming is so attractive for growers is the improved performance of current LEDs,” Heidi continues. “This is something that could not happen back in the day, as HPS has been the go-to lights for decades, and they produce a lot of heat; generally speaking, the plants have to be placed a couple of feet away from light to stay safe and healthy.”
Controlling the environment
Indoor growing, especially vertical growing, requires a particularly efficient airflow system to guarantee healthy growth for the plants. This has direct consequences on the growing environment. “Maintaining optimum temperature, humidity, and air circulation is challenging for all cannabis operations,” Heidi remarks. “But in vertical growing, there is even more variability in macro and micro environmental conditions, because more plants make control more difficult.
That’s why the GrowSpec VertiAero’s multi-layer airflow solution improves the airflow rate in the micro-environment of the plant canopy by maintaining consistent plant canopy temperature and humidity, reducing the cultivation potential of harmful pathogens, and increasing the rate of photosynthesis by evenly distributing CO2 over the plant canopy. The system utilizes various sensors to detect crucial data points such as moisture change, for instance.”
Although such a system might sound complicated to use, user-friendliness and easiness of use are very well implemented. “The VertiAero Planter system integrates intelligent control and touchscreen control system so that your business can save up exponentially on overhead costs,” Heidi points out. “At our core, we operate according to the highest standard, combining this with technology that respects our planet.”